In many ways, Bold as Love, by Bob Roberts, Jr. is a memoir or a personal testimony of what God can do in a person’s life when they are willing to follow and obey Jesus with reckless abandon. Many of the accounts that Roberts give illicit a response of “that’s unbelievable!” Bold as Love reads like and extension to the Book of Acts.
Roberts writes: “Everything is everywhere like never before in the history of humanity. The world is changing at a rapid pace, and with it your neighborhood, school, work, mall, and everywhere you go. For the first time in history, the whole world is showing up everywhere and changing the neighborhood.” (p. 10)
The whole premise of Bold as Love is that this is a good thing!
“Every great move of God has always involved migration: Noah; Abraham the pilgrim in the Holy Land; Joseph in Egypt; from Egypt to Canaan with Moses and Joshua; David to Jerusalem; and Jesus and his call for the gospel to be taken to the ends of the earth. This is how the sovereign God spread his word all through ancient history – and how he’s doing it now.” (p. 14)
Roberts’ story begins with him being a member of a United Nations think tank that included Turk al-Faisal – a Saudi prince. The Prince challenged Roberts to take steps to bring greater understanding between Christians and Muslims in Dallas, where Roberts lives and pastors. Since he knew no Muslims that would prove to be a difficult task! Undaunted, Roberts set out to host a meeting with two faith leaders: a rabbi and an imam for a ‘multifaith’ dialogue. That dialogue grew into a series of combined events one weekend at each other’s houses of worship that included all three congregations.
This simple act of faith by Bob Roberts is giving birth to conversations, relationships, and dialogue between Christians, Jews, and Muslims in a time when those conversations are extremely rare. Trust is being built, love is being expressed, and friendships are developing.
Through much of the balance of Bold as Love Roberts paints-by-numbers how to replicate this movement in our own communities. Much of what Roberts has to say is transferable and just might work in other cities and towns. Some of Robert’s experiences and success have to do with his unique place and placement. We all know that what works in Dallas (or Atlanta, or Lake Forest, or Seattle) doesn’t always work we live. We also know that the experience that Roberts has (or Stanley, or Warren, or Driscoll) are always going to be our experience. But that shouldn’t deter us from trying!
At less than 200 pages, Bold as Love is a book that you should read and then begin to have conversations in your family, with leaders in your church, and hopefully leaders of other churches and faiths to explore how we might begin to see even a tiny bit of what is happening in Dallas happen in our cities, towns, and suburbs.
Roberts closes his book with a story when he prayed alongside Muslims at a mosque but it could be a story about entering into the world of any group of people that doesn’t acknowledge the person of Jesus.
“In my heart I prayed, ‘God you love these people, and I love these people. Let me be your witness, your servant. Give me courage. Your people are here. I am here to be your witness.’
Where I am, Jesus is, because he is in me. Jesus was in that mosque as I interceded for those people. Where is Jesus on our streets? Where is Jesus at our schools? Where is Jesus at our jobs? He is where we take him. Where are we taking him? He didn’t enter us to stay cooped up, but to be bold as love.” (p. 182)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Handlebar Central. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”